Thursday, 27 of February of 2020

Illustrating RDF

I have had some success converting EAD and MARC into RDF/XML, and consequently I am able to literally illustrate the resulting RDF triples.

I have acquired sets of EAD files and MARC records of an archival nature. When it comes to EAD files I am able to convert them into RDF/XML with a stylesheet from the Archives Hub. I then fed the resulting RDF/XML to the W3C RDF Validation Service and literally got an illustration of the RDF, below:

rdf graph
hou00096.xml –> hou00096.rdf –> illustration

Transforming MARC into RDF was a bit more complicated. I first convert a raw MARC record into MARCXML with a Perl module called MARC::File::XML. I transformed the result into MODS with MARC21slim2MODS3.xsl, and finally into RDF/XML with mods2rdf.xslt. Again, I validated the results to got the following illustration:

rdf graph
003078076.marc –> 003078076.xml –> 003078076.mods –> 003078076.rdf –> illustration

The resulting images are huge, and the astute/diligent reader will see a preponderance of literals in the results. This is not a good thing, but it all that is available right now.

On the other hand the same astute/diligent reader will see the root of the RDF/XML pointing to a meaningful URI. This URI will be resolvable in the near future via content negotiation. This is a simple first step. The next steps will be to apply this process to an entire collection of EAD files and MARC records. After that the two other things can happen: 1) the original metadata files can begin to include URIs, and 2) the XSL used to process the metadata can employ a more standardized ontology. It is not an easy process, but it is a beginning.

Right now, something is better than nothing.

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